By Kevin Eckleberry Sports Editor
October 24, 2013
The Troup Tigers are playing on a Friday night at home.
That’s a combination they haven’t been able to enjoy for awhile.
Just playing on a Friday is enough of a treat, since the Tigers have played four of their seven regular-season games on Thursday so far.
The last time Troup had a home game on a Friday was Sept. 6 when it lost to the Callaway Cavaliers.
Troup hasn’t played on a Friday at all since Oct. 4 when it lost at Sandy Creek.
“It’s kind of nice this week to have a full week of practice, without modifying anything,” Troup head coach Lynn Kendall said. “The rest of the season will pretty much be Friday.”
Indeed, beginning with today’s home game against Fayette County, Troup will play nothing but Friday games until the end of the regular season, and all of the games will be at Callaway Stadium.
Troup will be the visiting team when it plays LaGrange on Nov. 1, and it wraps up the regular season at home against Shaw on Nov. 8.
If the Tigers make the playoffs, they’d most likely play on a Friday, although a Saturday game is always a possibility.
The Tigers (3-4 overall) hope the home-field edge will carry them to a strong finish, and a playoff spot.
The Tigers are 2-2 in Region 5-AAAA, and they’ll be in the playoffs if they win their final three games.
If the Tigers go 2-1 down the stretch, they could still make it, but they wouldn’t be a lock.
Kendall said no one is looking beyond today’s game, though.
Fayette County (1-6) is 1-3 in the region, and it knows it has to win today’s game to have any chance of making the playoffs.
Kendall got to watch Fayette County last week when it lost to LaGrange 37-20.
“Fayette County, at times they played tough last week,” Kendall said. “LaGrange found some spots to get after them a little bit more, and were a little more physical as the game went on.”
Also today, LaGrange will be on the road for a big region game of its own.
The Grangers (3-4 overall) are 3-1 in the region, but they’ll be put to the test in a big way when they take on top-ranked Sandy Creek (6-0-1, 4-0).
Sandy Creek is tied with Carrollton at the top of the region, and it is looking to continue an unbeaten streak in the regular season that dates back to the second game of the 2009 season.
Whatever happens today, LaGrange head coach Donnie Branch said he wants to see his team “compete, play with passion, and be excited. It’s a big game. You respect them, but you go out and play like we play. We have an expectation that we haven’t met all the time. I want to meet that.”
Win or lose, LaGrange will turn around and get ready for next week’s annual showdown against Troup.
That game will not just be for bragging rights in the county, but playoff positioning will be on the line.
LaGrange closes the season on the road against Carrollton on Nov. 8.